Trans4mind Home Page
Home Article Library Emotional Intelligence

1 + 2 + 3 = MAGIC!


By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

There’s something magical about the numbers 1, 2 and 3. Everything you need to do, everything you need to remember is no more than 3 (at any one time).

Let me give you 3 examples of what I mean:

  1. If you’re in a frenzy, trying to get 101 things done - stop! Ask yourself what are the 3 most important tasks you need to attend to now. Then get them done. 3 is manageable; 101 is not. If you finish the 3 and still have energy for more, do another 1. Each time you finish a task, pat yourself on the back and say, “I’ve done it!” Then, after a brief respite, you may go on to the next task.
  2. If you’re feeling frustrated because you can’t get your digital device to do what you want it to do, stop! It’s all too much. Learn 1 thing! Only 1 and you will feel a little less technologically challenged. Success is generated by 1 accomplishment at a time!
  3. If you’re ready to explode, forget about calming your anger by counting to ten. That doesn’t work. Counting to ten takes a millisecond and then wham; still frustrated you erupt with more fury than before. Instead, take 3 deep breaths, inhaling s-l-o-w-l-y, exhaling s-l-o-w-l-y. Feel yourself becoming calmer with each deep breath. Not calm enough? Take another 3 deep breaths. And watch the magic work!
Okay, have you gotten those suggestions down pat? If not, reread them till they sink into your consciousness. I don’t care how smart you are, there’s just so much you can absorb at any one time. Don’t read on until you’ve digested the first 3 ideas. Then, and only then, are you ready for more.
  1. Let’s just say you’ve read an article entitled, “25 ways to get more organized.” 25! Are you serious? The author must think you’re just sitting around with nothing to do except master her methods. No, no, no! You’ve got a life to live. So, either throw that magazine out (that’s 1 task accomplished) or skim the article to see if 1, 2 or 3 ideas might be useful to you.
  2. Big numbers are the enemy of weight loss. Want to lose weight? Don’t think 10, 20, 30 pounds. Think 2 pounds this week. Or maybe even 1. Whatever you accomplish, that’s great! Next week lose another pound or 2. No more! We put on 1 or 2 pounds at a time. We need to take them off the same way!
  3. Instead of enumerating all the faults of your loved one, pick out 1 thing that is most annoying to you. Then, discuss it with him or her. (Okay, you can mention 2 if you really can’t control yourself). Fingers may not to be used to tally up all the repellant, repulsive, stupid things your loved one does. Your fingers are meant for better things.

That’s all folks. Enough is enough! I hope you spend the rest of the day enjoying yourself. So many of us forget to do that.

Copyright © 2016: Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
Linda Sapadin is a psychologist and personal coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her by email or visit her website at PsychWisdom.
More Emotional Intelligence articles
You'll find good info on many topics using our site search: